Looking for an Authentic Church in Kansas City can be hard to do. We try our best to be true to God’s word, God’s people and His House. We know that every person can have a story of redemption and we want to be a part of your story.
This past year our nation has been in the grip of anger. Anger in every people group is evident on the news, in the streets, and on social media. There is anger because of injustice and there is anger because that is the nature of sin.
I am a firm believer that as Christians we are not called to take sides. I personally am not asking God to be on my side but that I would be on God’s side.
Just recently our nation was rocked by the marching and murder in Charlottesville. There seems to be more pressure levelled against God’s people to choose a side and to prove loyalty.
I normally do not weigh in at times like these in a way that some seem to think I should. But this past week I felt that God was leading me to speak out. It’s important in times like these that the church stays loyal to God and His Word.
The Bible says this…
He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
1 John 4:8
We see here that anyone responding in hate cannot possibly know God. But what exactly is love?
In the above scripture the first reference to love (“He who does not love…”) comes from the Greek word agapao. This is man’s love and is know by the actions of a man. It is deliberate. It is a matter of the will and not the emotions. This love is intent on seeking the good of others.
The second time love is mentioned in that scripture it comes from the Greek word agape. This is a love shown from God to man. It’s unconditional and sacrificial such as in John 3:16 where we read, “For God so loved the world…”
It is important that in these confusing and chaotic times that the church responds with God’s love. The only way we can know how to do that is by going back to the Word of God.
Our love for each other proves that we have gone from death to life. But if you don’t love each other, you are still under the power of death.
If you hate each other, you are murderers, and we know that murderers do not have eternal life. 1 John 3:14-15
The proof of our Christianity is that the world sees us loving. We can wear the t-shirt, go the church, and even read our Bibles but love towards others is the proof that Jesus is our Lord.
Anyone who has spent any time in God’s Word is familiar with 1 Cor 13. It is here we find out what love looks like.
Love is kind and patient,
never jealous, boastful,
proud, or rude.
Love isn’t selfish
or quick tempered.
It doesn’t keep a record
of wrongs that others do.
Love rejoices in the truth,
but not in evil.
Love is always supportive,
Love never fails! 1 Cor 13:4-8
That’s pretty clear cut don’t you think? Love is patient, kind, unselfish, truthful, etc… You get the picture right? But just who do we show love to?
We show love to our brother. Are there people in church you won’t talk to? Sit near? Pray for? Are you bitter or offended by someone? This is not the love of God.
But if we say we love God and don’t love each other, we are liars. We cannot see God. So how can we love God, if we don’t love the people we can see? John 4:20
We show love to people who are not like us. There is no place in heaven for racism.
You will do all right, if you obey the most important law[a] in the Scriptures. It is the law that commands us to love others as much as we love ourselves. But if you treat some people better than others, you have done wrong, and the Scriptures teach that you have sinned. James 2:8-9
We show love to our enemies. Let me make something clear. You might have co-workers, friends, or family who are trying to draw you into taking sides in these racial debates. But Jesus said we are to show love to even our worst enemy. If God commands us to love how can we get caught up in political mud slinging?
“You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves.” Matt 5:44 The Message
Sometimes Christians can be some of the most hateful people. When we are tempted to hate others we need to remember what scripture says. Jesus commands us to love our neighbor. In Luke a lawyer tried to test Jesus by asking Him who was His neighbor was. Jesus responded with the story of the Good Samaritan. Samaritan’s in Jesus day were looked down on and despised by the Jews. Jesus gave this example of racism as a lesson that we can all learn from. As a side note let me be direct. If you are referring to anyone as “those people” than you have a problem.
Here is a quick version of my testimony.
I was not always saved. When I came to the Lord I had hepatitis, blue hair, my brain was fried, I could barely speak, and I was strung out on drugs. I was breaking into peoples houses and a few folks wanted to kill me. But it was a Mexican family that heard from God and let me live in their garage. They had a history of gang banging before they got saved but at this time they were in church and serving God. They prayed for me and it wasn’t long before I got saved. That couple loved me, taught me, and kept praying for me. Eventually I got a job, started paying taxes, and got married. Today I am preaching the gospel because a Mexican family decided to trust God enough to let a white punk rocker live in their garage. Make no mistake it was the Gospel that set me free!
Maybe you have hatred in your heart towards someone or even towards an entire group of people. Or maybe you are broken from prejudice aimed at you and need God’s healing. Either way God loves you and wants to set you free.
Pray with this with me…
Father I surrender my life to you. Fill me with your love and help me to love others. Help me not to slander, gossip about or be rude to others. But let me, with kindness and patience, show love, especially to my enemies. You said whatever I ask according to your will I will receive it. I thank you now for helping me to be like you.